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Background Information

35 years of Experience

Raymond-Louis bade his time since he received training at Notre-Dame College in Montreal from 1970 until 1975; he was one of 5 swimmers to obtain an award in 1970. Amongst them, he was the only one to obtain the top distinction from the Royal Life Saving Society of Canada. He was given on 81% mark at the test which included a written and practical exam in 1975 and 1976. His reward was a gold medal.

While training for his diploma, he accidentally invented new swimming strokes which he still practices to this day. He developed skills in swimming, life saving, synchronized swimming and diving. He was able to reach his full potential in diving and lifesaving thanks to Jean Séguin, phys ed teacher at Notre-Dame College. He is also indebted to Jean-Clément Bergeron, an opera singer, with whom he taught at the swimming school; the singer was instrumental in teaching him physical principles which would be incorporated into swimming (at the age of 16, the singer introduced this new approach at the aquatic school under the jurisdiction of the Canadian Red Cross Society).

Raymond-Louis underscores the importance played by Carmen Archambault, instructor in synchronized swimming at a pool in Montreal's North End. Pedodontist Pierre Jobidon had also advised him on certain strokes which he mastered rather well and also Eddy Bonan a long-distance swimming pro who had shared some of his knowledge. Let us also mention his having met John Williams, a McGill University alumni, who gladly shared his experience in the field of life saving, such as in case assistance is needed to an individual with a fractured spine. Mr Williams was the first Quebec-born man to go in space, well before Marc Garneau and Julie Payette.

All these individuals have helped Raymond-Louis develop the abilities that lead to the gold medal. In order to get sufficient training, his objective was to swim 64 times over a 25 meter stretch, so in total a full 1.5 km. At times, he used his arms while his legs were tied with a rubber rope. At other times, he would use his legs for each of the four strokes officially recognized by the Olympic authorities, i.e. the crawl, back crawl, breast stroke and the butterfly stroke. It is in fact due to tiredness caused by immobility of legs that he ended up finding a way to compensate for waist's movement. From this experience, he was able to invent the four new swimming strokes.










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